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Exodus 24:9-18, On the Mountain with God

Thursday, June 21

God on the Mountaintop

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

God on the mountaintop with Moses

The Lord had been preparing Moses and the Israelites to receive the laws and commandments. God had already told them the Ten Commandments. But now, God was preparing to write all of God's laws on tablets of stone. These would serve as the governing principles for a people newly freed from slavery -- a people in desperate need of assistance in governing themselves. 

Many of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments. But the laws God gave Moses to bring to Israel were extremely detailed and specific. They went on for chapters. Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights receiving all of the laws God gave.

The specificity with which God laid out the laws tells us that God intended to walk with them through all the difficult transitions of being a people enslaved to being a people freed. God did not bring them out into the wilderness to become lost. God promised to help them crawl until they could walk, and then help them walk until they could run. God's promise of presence and guidance was one of the best gifts God could give a fragile people.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 24:9-18

Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.

The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.” Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.